VENUS DEFENDS SHAMED HINGIS
Williams - defended Hingis.
By Andrew Mullen, PA Sport, Hong Kong
Venus Williams has voiced her support for former world number one Martina Hingis, who was handed a two-year ban for doping.
Hingis, who retired from the sport in November after revealing she had tested positive for cocaine at Wimbledon last year, had insisted she was "100% innocent".
But following an extensive investigation, the International Tennis Federation announced on Friday that they had found Hingis guilty of the offence.
Speaking after her semi-final victory over Elena Dementieva at the JB Group Classic in Hong Kong, Williams said: "I like Martina and I think she is a nice girl. I was shocked like everyone else.
"For me, personally, I give her the benefit of the doubt.
"There are hardly any doping cases in tennis and I think that in tennis it doesn't matter what you might take, it doesn't keep the ball in, it doesn't calm your nerves.
"I see where in track and field or other sports where it can help, but tennis is a sport where you need a lot of skill - there is no magic pill for that."